A B2B case study must have quantified benefits in order to be effective . . . well, maybe not

There’s no doubt that a customer-reference case study with a slew of well-proven results, such as ROI and cost-savings,  makes a strong argument for a particular solution or company. So it’s worth it to make the effort to start tracking results and getting metrics as early as possible.

But what if you don’t have robust metrics yet? What if you have customers who are really happy with your solutions and are happy to recommend you but don’t have the metrics yet?

According to long time marcom writer Tami Demayo, that may be fine with your potential customers. “They don’t expect every case study they read to have benefits in the order of six-figure savings and 100 percent ROI in two months.” Demayo says that a sincere rationale from pleased customers can  “can make a significant contribution to closing a sale.”

Read the whole article here http://bit.ly/12K3XfQ

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B2B campaign winner – “For Dummies”

One look at this piece for Limelight Networks and  it’s got your attention, seducing you into reading it right away.

content-for-cloudIt uses the sticky content technique called triggering. As Joshua Berger, author of “Contagious,” explains it, triggering works by associating your message with something people know about.

In this case, it’s the famous For Dummy series, something everyone associates with simplifying subjects you want to know more about. The writing in these books is clear and they explain new subjects in an easy manner. So you immediately assume the material in this piece will be clear and easy to understand. And it is.

The table of contents here is a very smart way to present bolded copy bullets. They both summarize the content and tease the reader into finding more. In these bullets, the reader gets a compelling preview of the cloud services Limelight Network offers  and some of the features and benefits.

Company: Limelight Networks. Results: nearly 10,000 social media and news release views and $200k+ worth of sales opportunities.

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Sales and lead nurturing role reversal leads to 75% increase in leads

It was interesting to see in a recent case study in Marketing Sherpa how one company reverolesrsed the roles of lead nurturing and sales.

Typically in the B2B sales cycle, leads are nurtured before handing off to the sales team. At Managed Maintenance, Inc. (MMI), a provider of professional management services for technology assets for mid- and large-sized companies, once a lead hits the 40 point scoring threshold they are first turned over to sales. The sales team then has 60 days to turn the prospect into “sales stage two.”

If that doesn’t succeed, then the lead is entered into their lead nurturing process which consists of content marketing focused on thought leadership.

The “role reversal” strategy resulted in 75% more leads.


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7 Essential Elements of Successful Case Studies

Case studies are essentially problem – solution narratives. However, to flesh out a case study and make sure it communicates the messages  you want to get across to  your target audience, your case study must include these 7 essential elements.

1.  The problem or challenge
Define the problem clearly. Detail the situation the company (or customer) was in. What does the customer have to overcome? What stood in the way?  Grappling with a problem adds conflict – an essential element to any good story. To heighten impact, conflict needs to be meaningful  so highlight the stakes involved. Why was it so necessary for  the company  to overcome this challenge?

2. The customer or company
Whether the case study centers on a person or a company, they become a character a protagonist in the story. Add details that develop the character. How long in business? Does the person have an intriguing background? What about setbacks, ups and downs?  When the reader becomes interested in a character (person or company) the chances for a successful case study are much higher.

3. Process
What did the customer go through to find a solution? Highlighting the solutions that did not work is a way to contrast your  product or service with the competition.
[Read more…]

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Which is a better format for Case Studies: Traditional or Feature Story Format?

Most case studies follow one of two main formats. Either a traditional or a feature story format. Each has its advantages.  It’s important for the company to either pick one case study  format and have the writer follow it or have the writer choose one that seems appropriate for the company’s purposes.

Traditional format
The traditional format follows a basic progression and generally uses a set pattern of subheads: Company/customer profile; background; challenge; solution; results.  There can be variations on the exact wording of the subheads and sometimes “challenge” comes first, but it is essentially a set formula.

The main advantage of this format  is that [Read more…]

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